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Michael McClintock

Michael McClintock

Born: March 31 1950 in Los Angeles California, USA
Resides: Clovis, California, USA
E-mail: MchlMcClintock (at) aol (dot) com

Michael McClintock, now retired, served as Principal Librarian and Administrator for the County of Los Angeles Public Library. He holds degrees from Occidental College and the University of Southern California, where he specialized in Asian Studies, English and American Literature, and Information Sciences. McClintock is a key figure in modern haiku history, including participating in the development of the Haiku Society of America, and assisting in the creation of the Society's definition of English-language haiku. Minutes from early board meetings show that he was also skilled in stirring up lively discussions about senryu.
    When interviewed, he said, "I came to haiku by way of the Imagists, the American Transcendentalists (Emerson, Thoreau, et al), the Romantic poets and their predecessors (Cowper, Gray, John Clare). Though not named as such, the spirit of haiku – its techniques, poetics – exists in the epiphanies and best moments of every literature I’ve studied; it appears to be imbedded everywhere. . . . R. H. Blyth’s Zen in English Literature and Oriental Classics (Dutton, 1960 edition) was one of the most important books I read in college. Also, Ezra Pound’s ABC’s of Reading."
    During the 1960s, McClintock was the Assistant Editor of Haiku Highlights. Elizabeth Searle Lamb wrote that McClintock's "Liberated Haiku" pieces . . . and his biographical sketches of Western haiku poets made a real contribution to the development of haiku." During the 1970s, he was the Assistant Editor of Modern Haiku with Founder Kay Titus Mormino, edited the American Haiku Poets Series, and also edited and published Seer Ox: American Senryu Magazine (1972-1976), the only magazine that was devoted to senryu. He served as tanka editor for the online journal Simply Haiku, edited The New American Imagist series for Hermitage West, and has served as President of the Tanka Society of America from 2004-2010. He resides in Central California's San Joaquin Valley with his artist wife, Karen

Awards and Other Honors: Some of his awards and other honors include: R.H. Blyth Award, Haiku West 4:1 (July 1970); Honorable Mention and Special Mention, Modern Haiku 3:3 (1972); served on the Haiku Society of America's first Awards Committee (1973-74); Special Award "for his experimental haiku in his 1971 book, Light Run: Haiku and Senryu (Haiku Society of America, 1974); work selected for all three editions of Cor van den Heuvel's The Haiku Anthology (1974, 1986, and 1999); work selected for Eastern Voices in America [Louis Cuneo, Ed.] (San Francisco: Mother’s Hen, 1975); Guest Poet, Haiku Society of America program at Japan House, including haiku reading and discussion on New York City radio station WBAI (1976); Third Prize, Haiku Society of America Members-Only Contest (1976); Honorable Mention, Harold G. Henderson Memorial Haiku Award (1979); work selected for Erotic Haiku [Rod Willmot, Ed.] (Windsor, Ontario: Black Moss Press, 1983); work selected for William J. Higginson's Haiku World: An International Poetry Almanac (Kodansha International, 1996); work selected for a glimpse of red: Red Moon Anthology of English Language Haiku 2000; "Best of Issue" for senryu, Modern Haiku XXXI.3 (Fall 2000); Second Place, "The Award," Still (United Kingdom, Autumn 2000); Betty Drevniok Award, Haiku Canada (2002); work selected for Pegging the Wind: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2002 and Edge of Light: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2003; Editors' Choice, The Heron's Nest 6:1 (January 2004); Second Place, 8th Mainichi Daily News Contest [International Section] (2004); Honorable Mention, 6th Suruga-Baika Literary Prize [English section] (2004); Special Award, 58th Ueno Bashô Festival Contest (2004); work selected for Tug of the Current: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2004; Honorable Mention, Washington State Poets' Association, Francine Porad Contest (2004); Honorable Mention, Kaji Aso Contest (2004); ); work selected for Inside the Mirror: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2005; Honorable Mention, Mainichi Daily News Haiku in English Annual Selection (2005); Guest Poet, Upstate Dim Sum (2005); Second Place, Harold G. Henderson Awards (Haiku Society of America, 2006); Editors' Choice, The Heron's Nest Award (September 2006); Runner-up, The Heron's Nest Reader’s Choice Award (2006); Selected Haiku, 60th Ueno Bashô Festival Contest (2006); Honorable Mention, Mainichi Daily News Haiku in English Annual Selection (2006); work selected for Big Sky: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2006; Winner, Turtle Light Press Chapbook Competition (2008); Cited as "master of contemporary English language haiku" in The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms by Ross Murfin and Supryia M. Ray; Winner, 2015 Touchstone Award for Individual Poem (The Haiku Foundation, 2016).

Books Published: Light Run – collection of senryu and haiku (Shiloh, 1971); Man With No Face – collection of haiku, senryu, and tanka (Shelters Press, 1974); Maya – collection of haiku, senryu, and tanka (Seer Ox, 1976); Anthology of Days (Backwoods Broadsides Chaplet Series, 2002); The Tanka Anthology by Michael McClintock, Pamela Miller, and Jim Kacian (Red Moon Press, 2003); Letters in Time: Sixty Short Poems (Hermitage West 2005); Meals at Midnight (Modern English Tanka Press, 2008); Sketches from the San Joaquin (Turtle Light Press, 2008).

Selected Work
 
not green itself
but a hint of it—
the slanting spring light
 
               a poppy …
          a field of poppies!
the hills blowing with poppies!
 
 
 
the candle
flares, darkening
the basilica
 
60 stories
of glass:
the summer moon
 
 
 
spring dream . . .
slipping my wings
into a work shirt
 
hefting a plum—
I know by heart
my father’s orchard
 
 
 
    sea mist
the scent of the night
    it spent in the pines
 
visiting graves …
we flicker as we walk
down shadowed rows
 
 
 
boning
the codfish
complicating
my life
 
little inn
with a swinging sign-board …
the evening chill
 
 

Credits: "not green itself" - Roadrunner 4 (2005); "the candle" - Tundra 2 (2001); Stylus Poetry Journal 10 (2004); "spring dream" - The Heron’s Nest XVII:3 (2015); The 2015 Touchstone Award for Individual Poem (The Haiku Foundation, 2016); "sea mist" - The Heron's Nest 2:4 (April 2000); Stylus Poetry Journal 10 (2004); "boning" - William J. Higginson, Haiku World: An International Poetry Almanac (Kodansha International, 1996); "a poppy" - Haiku Magazine 5:1 (1971); McClintock, Maya (1976); Cor van den Heuvel [editor], The Haiku Anthology (Anchor Press/ Doubleday, 1974); Cor van den Heuvel [editor], The Haiku Anthology (Simon & Schuster, 1986); Cor van den Heuvel [editor], The Haiku Anthology (W.W. Norton, 1999); Frogpond 24:2 (2001); World Haiku Association Web site (2002); Modern Haiku 34:1 (2003); Raku Teapot Haiku (Raku Teapot Press, 2003); "60 stories" - McClintock, Light Run (Shiloh, 1971); New World Haiku 1:1; New World Haiku 1:2 (1973); McClintock, Maya (1976); Frogpond 3:2 (May 1980); A Haiku Path: The Haiku Society of America 1968-1988 (Haiku Society of America, Inc., 1994); World Haiku Association Web site (October 2002); Stylus Poetry Journal 10 (2004); "hefting a plum" - Frogpond 25:2 (2002); Raku Teapot Haiku (Raku Teapot Press, 2003); Frogpond 26:3 (2003); Contemporary Haibun 4; Edge of Light: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2003 (Red Moon Press, 2004); "visiting graves" - Blithe Spirit 11:2 (2001); Raku Teapot Haiku (Raku Teapot Press, 2003); Stylus Poetry Journal 10 (2004); "little inn" - Editors' Choice, The Heron's Nest Award, The Heron’s Nest 8:3 (2006); Second Runner-up, The Heron's Nest Reader’s Choice Award (2007).

Additional Reading: More information is available in "Contemporary English-language Haiku and the Long View", an interview with Michael McClintock by Janice Bostok, published in Stylus Poetry Journal in 2002.

and

"Wheeling through the Cedars: An Interview with Michael McClintock" by Jeffrey Woodward, published in Haibun Today: A Quarterly Journal, Volume 5, Number 3 (September 2011).

Sources Biography: A Haiku Path: The Haiku Society of America 1968-1988 (Haiku Society of America, Inc., 1994); Cor van den Heuvel [editor], The Haiku Anthology (Anchor Press/ Doubleday, 1974); "Millikin University Haiku Writer Profile" by Adria Neapolitan (online).

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